I need help

This pages provides a list of people and places that are available to help you manage, prepare and run your case.

Representing yourself in court can be a difficult process for a person without a legal background. Some people find it to be stressful, costly and require a lot of their time. If you lose your case, you may have to pay the other parties legal costs. You may wish to consider seeking legal advice and dispute resolution options before your dispute progresses to trial. The following resources are available to help you.

The Court Registry

Your first contact with the Court will be with the Court Registry. The Court Registry is where all documents relating to a case in the Court are filed. If you have a procedural question about your case, you can contact Registry staff who can:

  • assist you with finding forms and court lists
  • explain court processes and procedures
  • explain legal phrases or terms, rules and practices
  • give information about how the Victorian court system works
  • provide general instructions to complete court forms
  • provide suggestions for other agencies that can give legal advice.

Court staff cannot:

  • give you legal advice
  • complete court forms on your behalf
  • give an opinion on whether a case should be brought before the court or a probable outcome
  • give an opinion on a specific relief or remedy you should seek
  • give advice about specific arguments you should make in court or give an opinion on what to say at a court hearing
  • speak with the Judge on your behalf
  • adjourn your case
  • give information to one party that they would not give the opposing party.

Self-represented Litigant Case Managers

Self-represented Litigant Case Managers support self-represented litigants.

The case managers are located in the Court Registry. They can provide practical assistance to self-represented litigants to help them understand court procedures. Case managers can also link litigants to legal and other support services however they do not provide legal advice.

Resolving a dispute without going to court

It may benefit you to try and resolve your dispute before coming to court. The following organisations can assist with legal advice and dispute resolution.

Information about your case: Court Connect

Information about documents that have been filed, orders that have been made or upcoming hearing dates in your proceeding can be found on Court Connect.

Court Connect is a free online information search facility. Information in Court Connect comes from the Court’s case management system. You can use Court Connect to verify whether your documents have been filed by the court.

Court Network

Court Network offers personal support, information and referral to people going to court. The service is provided by highly trained volunteer Networkers working in the courts. The Networkers are managed by 14 professional Program Managers.

Court Network provides a specialist Intervention Order Program for victims of domestic violence. A specialist service is also available to victims of sexual assault and their families. This includes:

  • pre-court information
  • viewing of court facilities
  • support during court and after court.

Court Network also operates a state-wide court telephone service between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. This service can assist with referrals to legal services and community resources; organising interpreters, child care and disability access; and information about court procedure.

The Court Network office is located on the ground floor to the right of the Registry entrance. Telephone: 03 8636 6470.

In addition to Melbourne, Court Network also operates at the following County Court circuit courts: Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Morwell.

Language support: I need an interpreter

You may use an interpreter to assist in a court hearing to understand what is being said. The interpreter needs to be arranged by the party who requires assistance. It is a good idea to ensure that the interpreting service is accredited and/or has experience in court hearings.

The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) is the national association for the translating and interpreting profession and you can access an interpreter through their website.

Support services

Legal support/information

Consumer Action Law Centre
https://help.consumeraction.org.au
03 9629 6300
1800 466 477

Everyday Law
https://www.everyday-law.org.au/representing-yourself-court

Federation of Community Legal Centres
https://www.fclc.org.au
03 9652 1500

Justice Connect
https://justiceconnect.org.au
03 8636 4400

Law Institute of Victoria
https://www.liv.asn.au
03 9607 9550
referrals@liv.asn.au

Law Library of Victoria
https://www.lawlibrary.vic.gov.au/

Mental Health Law Centre
https://mhlc.org.au
03 9629 4422 or 1800 555 887

National Association of Community Legal Centres
http://www.naclc.org.au
02 9264 9595
naclc@clc.net.au

Public Law Library
http://library.vla.vic.gov.au/welcome.jsp

Victoria Legal Aid
https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
1300 792 387

The Victorian Law Handbook
http://www.lawhandbook.org.au

Women’s Legal Service Victoria
http://womenslegal.org.au
03 8622 0600 or 1800 133 302

Personal support

Beyond blue
https://www.beyondblue.org.au
1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline
https://kidshelpline.com.au
1800 55 1800

Lifeline
https://www.lifeline.org.au
13 11 14

Mens line Australia
https://mensline.org.au
1300 78 99 78

Money Smart – Financial Counselling
https://www.moneysmart.gov.au
1800 007 007

Suicide Call Back Service
https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
1300 659 467

Women’s Mental Health Clinic
http://www.maprc.org.au/womens-clinic
03 9076 6564

Contact details

Self-represented litigants can contact the County Court Registry on:

Telephone: 03 8636 6508
Email: srl@countycourt.vic.gov.au

The information on this page relates to proceedings in the Commercial or Common Law Divisions. If your matter is in the Criminal Division, visit our Criminal Division page.

For an explanation of common legal terms and phrases, please see our glossary.

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Page last updated: 25 September 2018